A NEW HOPE
The audience should receive interesting and enjoyable experiences when watching a performance. Experiences that awaken feelings and opinions, and that are later a good topic for a conversation together. These are experiences, which offer a brief break from the rat race of our daily lives. With these thoughts in mind the artistic director Ville Valkonen has composed the current group of Ballet Finland to perform new ballet at its best. The company consists of talented and persistent dancers, who are all professionally trained ballet dancers. They perform numerous different choreographies that intend to awaken new interest towards the field of ballet. We do not require our audiences any knowledge of classical ballet, but we are interested in finding what lightens up the Finnish audience. Let’s make inspiring art together!
WITH WILL AND PERSISTENCE WE BRING NEW ENERGY TO FINNISH BALLET
The history of Ballet Finland begins at 2007, when the company originally founded and directed by Sami Saikkonen, started under the name The Little Ballet of Finland. At first the company was more of a forum to perform and improve for all classically trained and graduated young Finnish dancers without a company contract and for choreographers interested in developing new classically based choreographies. The Little Ballet of Finland at that time offered multiple performances in theatres and in more unexpected locations such as schools or nursing homes or even outside on the streets. The aim was to grow and improve, and one day to become a professional ballet company, that performs its own repertoire in Finland and abroad as well.
Now the group has achieved its previous goals and is set to continue fulfilling some new dreams. The new artistic director has gathered a tight group stronger and more skillful than before to represent the new Ballet Finland. Still the company has not forgot its role in offering a place for improvement for the young graduated ballet dancers in Finland and is offering daily morning classes for them to attend.
COME SEE US AND GET INSPIRED!
On stage Ballet Finland does not bargain from quality, but always aims to give the best experience for the audience. The dancers practice all the time, even in voluntary conditions. Sometimes our paycheck is not as grand as the amount of work, but as Valkonen says: “Well rehearsed work is always an investment in the future.”
Ballet Finland strives for bringing versatile performances for Finnish audiences, so that the whole country can experience something fresh and new.
The artistic director Ville Valkonen works also as the main choreographer of the company, although he is hoping the company will work with as many choreographers as possible in the future. However, also the current repertoire includes works of other Finnish and foreign choreographers.
We are, we live and we move dance. We want Finland to get inspired and excited about ballet as they see us perform!
Ballet Finland will be appearing as a guest at the Strauss Concert in the Finlandia Hall on January 5 and 6.
Muuv -workshops continue to tour in schools around Finland to inspire young people to move and dance.
Red Light Drowning
Red Light Drowning brings you a choreography made with video projections. They both dance hand in hand bringing you down to a journey of red light. How deep can you go when the creativity takes you in its controll? The choreography is made by Ville Valkonen and video materials by media artist Eetu Lipponen.
Seven is a piece by Ville Valkonen and it was premiered 7.11.2013 in co-operation with Tapiola Sinfonietta orchestra at Tapiola Hall, Espoo. The choreography is a tribute to the Finnish master and grand composer Jean Sibelius. Seven dancers interpret the last work of the composer, the 7th Symphony, and bring a range of emotions, beauty and flashes of the human life on stage by means of modern ballet.
Shining was the very first choreography by the artistic director Ville Valkonen. He created the piece for the dancers of Staatstheater Nürberg Ballet, where he was also working at that time. The piece was premiered in exquisite corps: young choreographers show. The Shining tells you a story of choices that makes you wish it was all just a dream. Or perhaps it is just a dream. Sometimes our feelings matter more than reality.
Audience outreach is an important part of Ballet Finland’s repertoire and at the moment the company has two different workshops they are taking to schools all around Finland. The Muuv project wants to inspire the young people to move, dance and to try new things with an open mind. During the workshop the children first see a professional performance, then learn a choreography and finally make a piece of their own, with the help of the dancers. They also get to battle each other in groups and push it to the limits. In the end they have created their own choreography and performed and competed with it. This brings the youth a huge innovation boost and shows them they can do it if they put their mind to it with a right attitude!
So You Think You Can Muuv? -workshop has been held more than a hundred times already and the feedback from the children and the teachers has been very enthusiastic. Big Muuv is a simlar workshop, which also showcases tricking and acrobatics alongside dance. The two workshops will continue on spreading the joy of moving in Finland and also abroad during season 2016-2017.
Ville Valkonen graduated as a dancer from the Finnish National Opera Ballet School in 2007. After his graduation he has danced for example with the Estonian National Ballet, Finnish National Ballet and numerous theaters in England and Germany.
As a choreographer Ville started his career with the piece Shining, which was premiered in Nürnberg State Theater in 2011. His choreographing career has then continued in Finland, where he has completed numerous works for Ballet Finland, Finnish National Ballet and the Finnish National Opera Ballet School. Some of his best-known pieces are Seven (for Ballet Finland), Cluster of Flowers (for Finnish National Opera Ballet School) and So You Think You Can Muuv (a collaboration between Finnish National Ballet and Ballet Finland).
Ville joined Ballet Finland in 2012 as a dancer. In January 2014 he begun his work as the artistic director of the company, still continuing to dance and choreograph with the company.
”When I dance, my soul is free and my worries disappear. Dance is the way of expression I surrender myself for. It is an escape from the everyday life, the moment that dreams and love create.”
Inka Hulkko started studying dance in the Finnish National Opera Ballet School in 2001 and graduated as a professional dancer in 2012.
Inka joined Ballet Finland after her graduation in 2012.
”I dance, because it gives me strength and opens up a door to a new world. Being on stage is the best feeling I know.”
Tuomas Hyvönen started his career as professional dancer with the Finnish National Ballet after graduating from the Finnish National Opera Ballet School in 2007.
In 2006-2010 Tuomas danced many works by well known choreographers with the Finnish National Ballet. During the year 2010 he danced with the Salzburg Ballet in Austria. In 2011 Tuomas moved to Germany to work as a soloist with Ballet Chemnitz (2011-2013) and Schwerin Ballett (2013-2014).
With Ballet Finland Tuomas has danced first in 2011 and again from autumn 2014 on.
”When dancing on stage I feel both light and powerful. Through dance I find a place that can’t be found any other way. That is why I dance.”
Hanna Korjus started dancing in Valkeakoski. She then moved to Helsinki to study with the special training program of Helsingin Tanssiopisto, and later with the Finnish National Opera Ballet School graduating as a dancer in 2006. After her graduation she continued on to study ballet with the Tallin Ballet School 2006-2007 in Estonia.
As a professional dancer she has worked as a freelance dancer in Finland in 2007-2010 and with the Chemnitz Ballet during 2010-2013 in Germany. Hanna is also a certified Somatic Pilates instructor.
Hanna has danced with Ballet Finland during 2007-2010 and again starting from autumn 2013. At the moment Hanna is also working as a repetitor for the company.
” In dance I’m fascinated by the endless possibilities to develop and by the moment when the energy of the performance is such in which I can completely throw myself into.”
Timo Korjus got his dance education in the Finnish National Opera Ballet School during the years 1995-2007. He has also gained experience touring in France with Europa Dance youth company in 2005.
As a professional dancer Timo has worked with the Finnish National Ballet in 2006-2010, and again with production related contracts from 2013 on. Seasons 2010-2013 he danced as a soloist in Germany with the Chemnitz Ballet.
Timo joined Ballet Finland autumn 2013.
”I dance, because the feeling I get from being on stage I can’t find elsewhere”
Tiia Huuskonen graduated from the Finnish National Opera Ballet School in 2007.
After her graduation Tiia worked with the Finnish National Ballet in 2007-2010. She has also danced in Swizerland with Ballet Junior de Genéve in 2010-2011 working with numerous internationally known choreographers. Starting from 2011 Tiia has danced in Finland as a freelance dancer.
Tiia joined Ballet Finland autumn 2011.
”I dance, because words are so limited. I enjoy the movement and the freedom on stage. When I’m on stage I can be anything!”
Alina Sakko started dancing in Oulu, she then moved to Helsinki and graduated from the Finnish National Opera Ballet School as a professional dancer in 2012.
After her graduation she has worked with the Finnish National Ballet during season 2012-2013 and with the Vanemuine Theater in Tartu, Estonia during season 2013-2014 dancing soloist and corps de ballet roles.
Alina joined Ballet Finland 2015.
”For me dance is music and emotions, the most natural form of self expression and a way of life. Music moves me, and I long for the stage.”
Yuko Valkonen has studied ballet all over the world, for example in London Studio Centre and Centre d’art chorégraphique franco-japonais in France and Kawaguchi Yuriko Ballet School in Japan.
After her studies she has worked with European Ballet 2009, Vienna Festival Ballet 2012-2013 and Cork City Ballet 2014 and 2015 dancing many soloist roles.
Yuko joined Ballet Finland autumn 2016.
”When I dance on the stage,I feel so alive and free. And dance to become one with the music is one of the most amazing feelings I know.”
Marcus Björkbom started dancing with showdance and continued with ballet at the Finnish National Opera Ballet School. He graduated as a dancer 2016.
After his graduation Marcus has worked as a Freelance dancer in Finland. He has also won gold medal in the Finnish Showdance Championships i 2009 and 2010.
Marcus joined Ballet Finland in the spring 2016.
”Movement is in my DNA and I enjoy the energy that the audience gives me after a performance”
Chigusa Fujiyoshi is a Japanese dancer who studied ballet at Kawaguchi Yuriko Ballet School in Tokyo and the Rock School For Dance Education in the United States. Chigusa has danced with Ballet Chambre Ouest company in Tokyo, Japan and Salzburg Landestheater in Austria dancing many soloist roles.
Chigusa is a guest dancer with Ballet Finland autumn 2016 for the production of Circopera.
Koichi Kamino is a Japanese dancer from Tokyo. He has studied ballet in Akademie des Tanz Mannheim with professor Birgit Keil. As a professional dancer Koichi has danced for example in Schwerin Ballet and in Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe dancing soloist roles.
Koichi is a guest dancer with Ballet Finland autumn 2016 for the production of Circopera.